From Our Friends at Lugless
After months at home, there is massive pent up demand for travel, but the biggest concern for guests right now is whether it is safe to fly. Every travel company has implemented programs to ensure hygiene and personal safety are top priorities, but concerns persist resulting in air travel being down approximately 75% from a year ago.
Airlines have done everything they can to make it clean and safe for passengers in the terminal and on board a flight. Car rental companies have revamped their entire pickup and return process through cleanliness initiatives. Hotels and short term vacation rental properties have created robust cleaning and contactless procedures to reduce the chance of transmission of the virus during a guest’s stay.
One major part of the traveler journey that is often overlooked is how to make people feel safer getting from home to gate at the airport and then from the plane to their accommodations. A recent IATA passenger survey reports that 67% of travelers are worried about the check in process at the airport and retrieving their luggage at baggage claim not only in the current environment but also once the pandemic has subsided and it has been declared safe to travel.
Though there are many differences to 9/11 (19th anniversary in 2 days), there are some parallels to what we can expect coming out of the COVID-19 travel disruption. For one, the luggage shipping industry saw a spike in adoption by travelers worried about security concerns and cumbersome check in process at the airport post the attack.
Similarly, beginning in late April of this year, when COVID-19 travel restrictions began to be lifted, our low cost luggage shipping service, LugLess, began to see a surge in US traveler demand. LugLess did not change its marketing approach, rather, US travelers found additional value and benefits in reducing contact points at airport check in and time spent crowding at baggage claim. The added safety measures put in place at the airport level and time spent checking in provided a new reason for passengers to ship their luggage ahead of time and eliminate one major touch point at the airport prior to boarding an airplane. Passengers want to get in and out of the airport as fast and safe as possible and identified LugLess as a reliable, convenient, cheap solution
It is worth noting that, four months later, LugLess bookings have more than doubled since February’s pre-COVID volumes. By contrast, air travel in the US is down by two thirds in the same period. In addition to LugLess ’inherent safety value proposition for travelers, growth has been driven by pricing that starts at $15 to ship a bag. Compared to a checked bag fee with most major US airlines, which ranges from $35-$45 for the 1st and 2nd checked bags, LugLess is a very compelling option to most flyers. Not only can travelers save money by leveraging LugLess they can also have an overall better airport and travel experience getting to their final destination without lugging and worrying about their bags.
A key initiative is to have short term vacation rental properties leverage LugLess as a safety tool for their properties as well as provide a new way to add value for their guests. Presenting a luggage shipping option will make guests feel safer flying and help them feel at ease the minute they step out their own front door not just after they’ve gotten off their flight and arrive at your door.
LugLess has turnkey “light lift” programs that any US short term vacation rental property can easily place in pre-trip, during stay, post booking emails to offer our service as a new amenity without any operational support required at the property level. We utilize FedEx and UPS and work closely with them to provide safe and reliable service for guests that may be shipping their luggage, golf clubs, skis, boxes, and more to any zip code in the US.
If you are a property owner or manager and looking to either bring back reluctant guests or provide one more safety tool to reinforce your existing cleanliness measures, please reach out to Lugless at email@example.com. We have a specific use case just for short term vacation rental properties that do not have the ability to accept packages prior to a guest’s check in. We are here to help and be part of your back to travel program during this pandemic and once it lifts here in America (sooner rather than later, hopefully).
If you’d like to learn more about LugLess, please visit Lugless.com